The 7th Sea Returns: Part II

This is the second post covering information found in the 7th Sea quick start rules that have been released while the kickstarter project is going on. For additional information see the first post here.

Action Scenes are declared by the GM when the players want to change the world, while they are faced with some sort of imminent danger. This danger could be from a building collapsing on them, or a gang of muggers trying to rob them. This is probably the single biggest area of concern I have rules wise. The process for an action scene goes something like this:

  1. The GM announces the action scene.
  2. The everyone announces their intention for the round. If anyone’s intention directly opposes someone else’s it is treated as an opposed risk.
  3. Everyone rolls their dice pool and calculates their raises.
  4. Who ever got the most raises, announces how many of their raises they are going to spend on accomplishing their intention. Note, it is unclear who goes next in these rules, but I assume it is the character with the next most raises. This goes on until everyone has spent all of their raises.
  5. Then the GM narrates what happened that round.

Here is an example using the characters supplied in the quick start rules:

Alexsy, Ennio, and Azucena are trapped in a building with the villain Vizzini that is collapsing because of the cannons being shot at it. The GM announces that this is an action scene where they must escape the building before it comes crashing down on them. The consequence of this scene is two wounds.

Alexsy’s player declares he is going to shove the debris out of the way as he bulls his way to the door and out.

Ennio’s player declares he is going to move across the room dodging the falling debris to get to the door and out.

Azucena’s player declares she is going to follow the walls around the room until she gets to the door and out.

The GM declares that Vizzini is going to race to the door, and lock them in before they can get out.

Everyone rolls their dice pools and we end up with the following results

Azucena has 5 raises

Alexsy has 4 raises

Vizzini has 4 raises

Ennio has 3 raises

Azucena goes first and declares that she will spend three raises to get out of the room suffering no damage and leaving her with two raises to spend.

Alexsy goes next and will spend all four raises to get to the door, this is one more than Azucena spent, so he will arrive at the door first, but can do nothing else.

Vizzini decides to spend three raises getting to the door so he will show up at the door at the same time as Azucena, and still have one raise to spend.

Ennio decides to spend two of his raises getting to the door, so he will take one wound, but still be able to react to Vizzini with one raise.

Azucena then declares that she will spend one raise to shoot some falling debris so that it doesn’t land on Ennio, thus saving him from the one wound he would have taken, and leaving her with one raise still to do something.

Vizzini will spend his last raise to stab Alexsy with his sword as he goes by, causing one wound.

Ennio spends his last raise to parry Vizzini’s attack on Alexsy preventing the wound.

Azucena will now spend her last raise to trip Vizzini hopefully slowing him down so that he will be caught in the collapsing building as they escape.

The GM then narrates how Alexsy arrives at the door first followed by everyone else, Azucena’s shoots some debris that was falling towards Ennio knocking it out of the way. Vizzini stabs at Alexsy as he moves through the doorway, but Ennio with a smile and a wink parries the strike, and Azucena’ clips Vizzini’s heel tangling his feet as he makes it through the door causing Vizzini to face plant just beyond the door.

This would be the end of the first round, if things were still unsettled, we would start the new round at the top with the declarations, the rolls, and the cycling through everyone spending raises until they were out.

Writing this down, it sounds good, but my fear is that the cycling through the raises will end up causing problems, but only time and actual play experience will tell.

Fights with brute squads, the groups of villainous underlings, are handled like basic risks, you declare your intention, the GM declares the appropriate skill and trait dice pool, and tells you the consequence. If you attack a brute squad, you reduce the size of the group by one for each raise you dedicate to that. If any members of the group are still left, they can attempt to hurt one character (a brute squad can only attack one character no matter if it has two members or ten members). The player declares what they are going to do to avoid harm (one wound per member of the brute squad) and the GM declares the appropriate dice pool again, and each raise reduces the number of wounds suffered by one. Oh and heroes always act before brute squads, and another thing to be aware of is that the GM does not roll dice for brute squads unlike villains. Villains are a little different, they have a dice pool size called strength, and they suffer wounds and dramatic wounds like the player characters. It is unclear in the quick start rules how much damage a villain can take before they are defeated, my personal interpretation is that they need to take their strength squared plus one in wounds. The rules state that a villain is defeated after they take as many dramatic wounds as their strength to be defeated, and that they take a dramatic wound on the first wound past strength. So a strength six villain takes a dramatic wound once they have taken seven wounds. The unclear part is if the seventh wound also counts as a regular wound. The rules are also unclear as to what significance a dramatic wound has for a villain.

Duels are one on one sword fights with villains and work a little differently from normal conflicts. You don’t have to declare your intent, and there are no consequences to be declared, but you must declare any dueling style before you roll your trait and weapon dice to determine raises. Whoever goes first gets to choose one of the basic moves (disengage, parry, slash, aside), or an advanced move if they know one. The basic moves can be chosen as many times as you want in a round, but you can’t choose the same one twice in a row, so you can’t slash and then slash again, you have to do something else. To use an advanced moves you have to know it, and they can only be done once per round. So this means that if neither participant in the duel has an advanced move, every round will go something like this assuming that each side gets enough raises on their rolls:

Character 1 will slash

Character 2 will parry

Character 1 will do an aside

Character 2 will slash

character 1 will parry.

Advanced moves will add variations on this with moves such as Bash, Flourish, Luge, and Riposte so a character could get two attacks in back to back possibly preventing someone from parrying one of them. This is probably the second biggest point of concern, and we have been told that they are looking into revamping the dueling rules.

Well, that finishes up my thoughts on the quick start rules. I am looking forward to seeing the new edition when it comes out around October, and we will see if it lives up to my expectations.


Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

3 thoughts on “The 7th Sea Returns: Part II”

  1. The action scene process sounds incredibly clunky to me, but then that’s always been one of my least favorite parts of a gaming session…the discussing what we’re *going* to do (that always seems to take far too long) before we can start actually carrying out some action or going into combat or whatever.

  2. That is pretty much how I feel about it as well, so far in the posts covering how it plays, I have not heard anything about it working that way, but until I play it, I don’t know how it will work for me.

    To me this sounds almost like if you were to take a D&D round and have everyone move one at a time, and then after that go back around and have everyone perform their standard actions. And while I have seen games that did that, I don’t know that I have ever played in a game that we actually did it that way instead of declaring your move and your action all on your turn and then moving to the next person so we only went around the table once. This has the potential of having you go around the table multiple times and eventually skipping certain players to finish the round.

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